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Chocolate Cake with Tea – ReWorked

Chocolate Cake - Rework

When I was trying to decide which image I should do for today’s rework so many came to mind.  I went through lots of photos and this next one really stood out, see if you can see why.

This was one of my first-ish attempts at HDR images.  I was using Photoshop to do them.  The original post was also called Chocolate Cake with Tea and I did it back in December.  I remember doing it, I had to make the cake, then ice it and then set up the still life.  I hadn’t really used the cups and saucers before, so it was nice to get them out for this.  They seemed to go so well with this set up.

I used 5 images for this and I think it is fair to say that I over, over saturated the colours somewhat, even the cake looks too orange.  The lighting looks too strong as well, I really don’t know what I was thinking when I did this.  Though to be fair, I think it was inexperience and not really knowing what I was doing and not being sure.

This image is pretty much a straight HDR image, once it was processed I really didn’t do much else to it.  Back then processing as a HDR was pretty much it.  I didn’t try and find anything else to do to the images.  So in order to rework the image, it meant I had to go back and find the images I used for it.  I used Photomatix Pro this time.

This HDR image is so much closer to the original colours of the tea set.  The cups and saucers are not that bright orange that is in the first image.  This image has also been processed with camera raw in Photoshop.  Other than that, nothing else really.

Of course I had to have a go at trying some other stuff on it as well.

I don’t know if this really worked, but I wanted to try and see what I could do to it. I didn’t do a lot, just added a couple of layers of blurring, darkened it some and then tried to highlight the cake more.  I think it has turned out too dark, and maybe sometimes images should just be left alone.

I need to go and get some things ready for my class tomorrow.  I can’t believe it is here already.  I am really looking forward to teaching, but I am also a little worried about how I will go.  What if I get asked a question I can’t answer?  What if I stuff everything up.  I need to prepare now, so enjoy the post and see you tomorrow.

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84 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love it! The variations are great. Even the orangey one!

    August 24, 2012
    • Thank you, great that you like them, even the orangey one, haha.

      August 24, 2012
  2. Once again the rework is streets ahead of the original and shows how far you have developed. Congratulations! If you get asked a question you can’t answer you may turn to the group and ask “well, does anybody know?” and if not….. just say you’ll find out and let them know. Nobody has a monopoly on knowledge and there will always be something that comes out of left field. Don’t let it fluster you….. I asked someone who was teaching me how applying a gaussian blur as part of an action made things sharper – he was quite open in saying that he didn’t know how it worked, just that it does. Photoshop isn’t easy and sometimes that is just the right answer. A child asks “why?”, the parent answers “just because” :-)

    August 24, 2012
    • Thank you Andrew, appreciate that, and thank you for the advice about the teaching, I will try and remember it all tomorrow. :)

      August 24, 2012
  3. Don #

    I’m just fascinated by the work you do. You say your last image is a bit too dark. I, think your light and dark is great. Just love what you’ve done to this image.

    August 24, 2012
    • What a lovely thing to say Don, not quite sure what to say, but thank you so much for those words.

      August 24, 2012
  4. I think I’ll start to cook…

    August 24, 2012
    • I laughed out loud when I read this, very loudly. I can’t really cook.

      August 24, 2012
  5. Good to look at and good enough to eat – it’s actually making me hungry. Wish I could follow your tutorials, but I’m just using a basic digital camera, Picasa, and a Neo-Office drawing program. The HDR is HDR-like, and I’m a bit distrustful because it’s too tempting to go OTT. I did download the free version of Photomatrix. Do you recommend it?

    August 24, 2012
    • It was making me feel very hungry when I was working on it, especially doing the blurring on the cake. Of course you can use my tutorials, I am doing one on Monday about using something basic like GIMP and I will give you directions on how to download it, it is free software. I love Photomatix, I use it constantly. Of course everyone you ask will give a different answer, but I am a fan. Don’t forget if you decide to purchase it to get the coupon code for a 15% discount. I have put the code on the software page at the top of the blog.

      August 24, 2012
  6. Helen #

    I like the last image. I think the colours are better, giving more for the eye to investigate.

    August 24, 2012
    • That is interesting Helen, I really wasn’t sure about it. Thank you.

      August 24, 2012
  7. HDR is fun but I doubt it is practical here though. Your original shot is lovely instead.

    August 24, 2012
    • I am a bit confused, they are all HDR’s, even the original. I think the original HDR was too over done.

      August 25, 2012
  8. Not only are you an ace photographer, you can also bake amazing cakes! I love todays photo Leanne, thank you. Lottie

    August 24, 2012
    • That cake wasn’t really that great, it was a very basic chocolate cake, you know the type, chuck everything in a bowl and then put it in the oven. Haha. Great to see you love the photos today. Thanks a lot Lottie

      August 24, 2012
  9. Image #1: Aargh!

    Image #2: Beautiful ‘food magazine’ quality!

    Image #3: Rich!!!

    Well done, Leanne!

    August 24, 2012
    • I can’t write because I am laughing too much, this is brilliant, I really love how you have done your comment today 1000, it is superb, thank you so much.

      August 24, 2012
  10. I think the last image image is, as Goldilock’s said.. “just right”.

    August 24, 2012
    • Thank you EllaDee, I can’t always judge. Glad Goldilocks would have liked it.

      August 24, 2012
  11. Actually, I like all of them, but the one you say is closest looks best. Chocolate cake equals yum!!

    August 24, 2012
    • It was a really hard picture to do because the cake was eaten months ago and as I worked on it, I just wanted cake. Thanks John

      August 24, 2012
      • LOL!! It looks delicious. The power of suggestion…

        August 24, 2012
  12. Taught for awhile.
    Great responses to questions you can’t answer :
    “That’s a great question. Let me get back to you”
    “I’ll have to look into that, I know that “this that and this happens” but will have to think of your particular situation.”
    “We’ll have time to discuss that later.”
    “Interesting. Let’s break it down. Where do you think we should start to answer the question?” Great lets do that and talk about it next time.

    Try not to answer if you don’t know. Retractions are no fun but necessary at times.

    - I like the new photo. :-)

    Good luck!

    August 24, 2012
    • I will have to remember all this for next time, thankfully I didn’t get asked anything that I couldn’t answer. Thanks for all the great tips.

      August 25, 2012
  13. What tea set all I see is chocolate cake….

    August 24, 2012
    • Hahaha, great response. I just wanted cake the whole time I was working on it. Thanks

      August 25, 2012
  14. The middle photo looks the most inviting. The bottom one is so dark that you lose the frosting on the cake. Once again, it was good to see how you work through your decision making in editing your photos. Thanks!

    August 24, 2012
    • Thanks Laurie, I agree with everything your said, I think the middle one is the best one.

      August 25, 2012
  15. I too prefer the middle picture – thanks. And the cake, lol, “you just chuck everything into a bowl etc. etc……” Yah, yah, if it was only that easy. Well done Leanne.

    August 24, 2012
    • It really is that easy. It is one of the easiest chocolate cakes on the planet and takes good too. I’m getting hungry thinking about it. Thanks

      August 25, 2012
  16. Great re-work, Leanne. I do like the 2nd image too, the lighting is much better that I can distinguish the color of the cake from the frosting.

    I find the first image would have worked for me too (I actually like the bright orange cups and saucers) if the cake didn’t take on that bright orange color too.

    On your third photo, I do like how the cups and saucers came out, probably like them even more than the colors on the 2nd image.

    Sorry if I was rambling…haha! But I felt the need to tell you what I really liked on all 3 images. Good luck on the class. I’m sure you’ll do well :)

    August 25, 2012
    • It seems the second image is the better one, which I also think. I love your descriptions of each of them. The class also worked out well, thanks. Hey, I didn’t see any rambling.

      August 25, 2012
  17. saymber #

    *wiping away the drool at seeing chocolate cake – no matter what you did to the picture it looks delicious! Food porn! :-P

    August 25, 2012
    • Haha, I know just what you mean. It was hard working on it knowing that the cake was eaten months ago. :)

      August 25, 2012
  18. Hey there! I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! If you want to accept and participate just click here and follow the steps!
    http://copperleaftreasures.com/2012/08/24/one-lovely-blog-award/

    August 25, 2012
    • Thank you so much for the nomination, I have left you a message on your blog.

      August 25, 2012
  19. Mlle Michelle #

    I could use some tips on cake & tea photos, thanks! I don’t even know how to use photoshop, but I can definitely make a good cake & cup of tea… that’s a start ;)

    August 25, 2012
    • We should collaborate, you make the cake and tea and I will take the photos, then we can enjoy it afterwards. I’ve thought about doing some posts on this, let me if you would be interested. Thanks. :)

      August 25, 2012
      • Mlle Michelle #

        that sounds great! I just did a new tea & cupcakes by the pool photoshoot this morning – I’ll let you know when I post it. We’ll have to arrange a way to do a collaboration too :)

        August 25, 2012
      • Mlle Michelle #

        Hi Leanne. I just added some new tea & cupcake photos, with basically no photoshopping. I added a little vignette and auto-tone and put them up. Take a look and let me know what you think would be better if you can. Thanks!!

        August 25, 2012
      • I tried to have a look, but it says you blog is marked private.

        August 29, 2012
  20. The redness of the teacups really draws you eye. And I like it. If, however, the aim to to have a picture that you will your eye to the cake, the second is better I think. The browns seem to make you wish you could grab a bite of that chocolate cake.

    August 25, 2012
    • Seems the cake is a huge hit. I find the first one just too loud and in your face, I think the second one works better and it more realistic. I have really missed your comments and thoughts Colline, it is so wonderful to have you back.

      August 25, 2012
      • Good to be back Leanne :)

        August 25, 2012
  21. good luck with teaching your class, you will be fine :)

    August 25, 2012
    • Thank you, as it turned out it was fine and the people in the class were so lovely that it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you. :)

      August 25, 2012
  22. John Smith #

    Hi Leanne, all the best with your class….you are very knowledgeable and have the analytical approach that can tease apart any issue. The photo… A combination of 2/3 with more contrast in the foreground and the blurr in the background….but actually they all work, it really depends on where or how you want to use them……as an illustration in a food mag, or as a piece of art work.

    August 25, 2012
    • Thanks John, the class did go well, and I found I could answer all their questions and those that I couldn’t their camera manuals could. I have no idea what I was thinking when I took the photo, I just did it, I think, as an exercise, just to experiment with taking some still life photos. Love all your comments, thanks a lot.

      August 25, 2012
      • Hmmm, the biggest problem is that they expect you to know how every camera menu works……….and very few actually read them…… me included.

        August 25, 2012
      • That is so true, I did tell them that it was worth the effort to at least skim over it, then they would know what the camera is capable of. Having said that, one of the best things was that they all had the same camera, so I only had to work things out once.

        August 25, 2012
  23. what a nice pop of color!! ;-)

    August 25, 2012
  24. I love the orange photo…it’s so vibrant.

    August 25, 2012
    • I find it a little too vibrant, but maybe that is just me. Thanks

      August 25, 2012
  25. Gayle #

    I prefer the second image to, as you say, it’s not overly orange. What about doing it again, with different lighting?

    August 25, 2012
    • If I did it again Gayle I would have to make the cake again, and then I would have to eat it, that might be a problem, haha. I’m not sure about doing too many more still life images, I am more into the other stuff right now. Thanks Gayle.

      August 25, 2012
      • Gayle #

        I don’t think there’d be much arguement for making another chocolate cake haha but I wasn’t meaning right now, but in the future. It’s always good to reexamine and see how differently your techniques and methodogy has moved on, from when it was originally done. How did the class go?

        August 25, 2012
      • Thanks Gayle, I will probably do something similar another time. The class went really well thanks.

        August 29, 2012
  26. For some reason I am hankering after an english afternoon tea

    August 25, 2012
  27. Beautiful!

    August 25, 2012
  28. Liz #

    I like the middle image best – it makes me want to eat cake the most…actually that should make me like it least…..

    August 25, 2012
    • Haha, I know what you mean, you should have seen how hard it was to work on it. Thanks Liz.

      August 29, 2012
  29. Love the copper colored images. Nice tones. Inviting.

    August 26, 2012
  30. You just started doing HDR in December? Holy cow. You’ve improved exponentially in just a few months. Your second attempt is *worlds* better than the first one. (I mean, the first one isn’t *bad*, but the second outshines it by far.) Cool redo!

    August 26, 2012
    • You are being kind Josy. Thank you, I have worked very hard at trying to improve, always trying to improve. Thanks again.

      August 29, 2012
  31. Reblogged this on Reason & Existenz and commented:
    Really nice pieces on this blog. Always a huge fan of chocolate cake too!

    August 26, 2012
  32. I love the final result and the cake comes out looking really good.

    August 26, 2012
  33. Reblogged this on MothersHeart.

    August 26, 2012
  34. This is my favorite and not just because I like chocolate cake. I like the design and the reworking of color. Good job.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you, I like your comment, I really appreciate it.

      August 29, 2012
  35. Chocolate cake and tea… love the combo! And of course, the photo :)

    August 28, 2012
    • The combination go really well together, thanks leamn

      August 29, 2012
  36. obviously i came here for the cake :p

    August 30, 2012
    • Sorry was eaten a long time ago, if it helps any, it tasted really good. :)

      September 8, 2012
  37. You perfected it on the third image! Gorgeous tea party! :-)

    September 3, 2012
    • Thank you George, it looked great, but the tea went very cold while I was taking the photos. :)

      September 8, 2012

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